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Verder Hall residents receive single rooms as consolation

Sara House
Kent State’s Verder Hall, located at 150 Midway Dr. As of the Fall 2023 semester, the dorm has been reopened as a housing option for students.

Verder Hall was brought back for the 2023-24 academic school year to meet the high demand for housing. Residents have experienced a wide range of issues from broken sewer lines to temperatures reaching up to 95 degrees inside individual rooms. 

Samuel Thomas, the RHD for Verder and Engelman Hall, said approximately 25% of Verder residents moved out around October, when a sewage issue resulted in their water being cut off for several hours. He said the university sat down and discussed plans for what to do with Verder being so empty. 

“Because we knew that having that water shut off following so closely on the tail of our lack of AC problems, that would cause a lot of disruptions in our community,” Thomas said. “I really pushed for using the resources we had in Verder to repair some of the harm and community frustrations from those community issues.” 

The university decided to allow the remaining Verder residents to spread out into the double rooms, this time with a single. 

 “What we settled on was the Verder singles initiative,” Thomas said. “Essentially, we would take the empty rooms and make a building-wide offer to move into a double room and turn it into a single room for no additional cost.”

Thomas said an announcement of the plan was made to the hall in a meeting Oct. 3, and students could begin signing up for a single on a first-come, first-served basis Oct. 9. 

The hall was closed to new residents several weeks ago, but Thomas said there were not enough spaces for all students to get a single.

“The Verder singles initiative was only for Verder residents to address the injustices they faced moving into a dorm that had so many issues,” Thomas said.

According to Thomas, many students willingly chose to move into Verder at the start of the semester assuming they would get singles, though this was never officially stated by the university.  

“A lot of students came to the understanding that Verder was a less desirable space,” Thomas said. “[They] requested Verder in the hope that so few people would sign up and that they would get a single without having to pay the increased price.” 

Ian Rutmann, a sophomore environmental studies major, said he chose Verder thinking he would get a single room, knowing there would be no AC, but he still hasn’t gotten one. 

“[The university was] really pushing that it would be a single, I’m living with a roommate now,” he said. “They didn’t inform me that I would be living with a roommate until a week before moving in.”

Rutmann said his roommate never got a response for their single application, possibly due to all the singles being taken. 

“His request never got denied, it just totally got dismissed,” Rutmann said. “He never got any email back and he sent out the full application.” 

Thomas’ efforts to repair the community seem to have paid off. Despite the complications, Rutmann said the community in Verder is one of the best they’ve seen.

“I don’t mean to be like this, but it’s like shared trauma,” Rutmann said. “I enjoy the people who live with us on the floor, I haven’t met a single unfriendly face.”

Andrew Bowie is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Andrew Bowie, Reporter
Andrew is a general assistant reporter at KentWired and a second-year Communication Studies major. He hopes to improve his writing skills here and deepen his understanding and connection with writing. He likes learning about people, and he always finds himself so impressed at all the things people can do – which is why he enjoys writing about them. "Ask me stuff, ask me to do stuff, ask me for help even though I don't know much yet. I'll probably say yes!" he says. Contact him at [email protected]

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